10/28/2019 DPHHS PRESS RELEASE "Health officials identify two additional cases related to severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping"

Multistate Outbreak Investigation

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. 

Anyone who vapes and is experiencing respiratory issues should promptly consult their health care provider.

Missoula County Case Counts

Confirmed cases of vaping related lung injury   0
Deaths   0  

(MCCHD, 10/31/2019)

Montana Case Counts

Confirmed cases of vaping related lung injury   5
Deaths   1  

(DPHHS, 10/31/2019) 

National Case Counts

 Confirmed cases of vaping related injury  1,888
 Deaths  37

 (CDC, 10/31/2019)


Patients of the outbreak have presented with:

  • Respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  • Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.

Other symptoms reported by some patients included:

  • Fever,
  • Chest pain,
  • Weight loss,
  • Nausea and diarrhea.

Contact your healthcare provider if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms.

If it is a medical emergency call 9-1-1 or the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).

For Health Care Providers

On Oct. 8, 2019, Governor Steve Bullock directed the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to implement emergency administrative rules that require health care providers to REPORT SUSPECT CASES of vaping associated pulmonary injury to local health authorities WITHIN 24 HOURS in order to conduct surveillance activities necessary for the investigation, monitoring, control and prevention of this condition. 

8.28.2019 HAN

see the Infectious Disease page for more reporting resources.

For Schools

Health Alert Network (HAN) - Resources for Schools - Oct. 21, 2019 

FREE curriculum options for grades 5-12 that address vaping and substance abuse:

CDC’s Know the Risks: A Youth Guide to E-Cigarettes
CATCH My Breath: E-Cigarette & Juul Prevention Program  
Stanford Medicine: Tobacco Prevention Toolkit on E-Cigarettes 

Each prevention curriculum offers a unique approach to discussing e-cigarettes in the classroom, along with teacher resources, parent materials, guidance documents, worksheets and handouts.   

What are the Risks For Youth?

  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.
  • Nicotine exposure during adolescence can:
    • Harm brain development, which continues until about age 25.
    • Impact learning, memory, and attention.
    • Increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to go on to use regular cigarettes.
  • Many e-cigarettes come in kid-friendly flavors – including mango, fruit, and crème – which make e-cigarettes
    more appealing to young people.
  • E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful substances, including:
    • Nicotine
    • Cancer-causing chemicals
    • Volatile organic compounds
    • Ultrafine particles
    • Flavorings that have been linked to lung disease
    • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

Need Help Quitting?

Quitting nicotine is hard. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line offers FREE help quitting ALL commercial tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The benefits include free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), reduced-cost prescription medication, free quit coaching, and a free personalized quit plan.

The American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line has several benefits. This program is culturally sensitive and distinguishes between commercial and traditional tobacco. Free NRT is also provided.

The Quit Now Montana Pregnancy program provides a free personal female quit coach, cash incentives and free NRT if approved by a doctor.

The My Life, My Quit Youth program is for ages 12-17 who want to quit all forms of tobacco, including vaping. The program provides free coaching through text, chat or phone; confidential enrollment and coaching; coaches specially trained to work with teens and youth; and on-line enrollment and coaching. Text ‘Start My Quit’ to 1-855-891-9989 or call.

What You Need to Know!

Video - Learn to Identify Vaping Products

E-cigarettes, Vapes & JUUL: The New Nicotine Addiction in Montana

E-cigarette 5 Facts Infographic